By PRITHI SRINIVASAN
At the beginning of something new, maybe a school year or a calendar year, people often set goals for themselves: to get better grades, to enjoy themselves more, to work harder, to try something they have never done before. On sports teams, currently basketball and soccer, players use goals as motivation to improve in a certain way. They have goals for themselves, to be the best player they can be, and for the team, maybe to surpass a previous record.
For new players, it may be hard to have intentions for the season, not knowing what to expect. Player Sania Choudhary, a freshman on the girls JV basketball team, had little prior knowledge going in to this year.
“I was really nervous before the start of the season because I had almost zero confidence in my skills. I knew I would improve but I didn’t want to have any expectations. I didn’t really know how to set them up for myself,” Choudary said.
Choudhary explained that later in the season, when she was able to understand the game better, she began to push herself to reach personal aspirations and improve her skills.
“I want to be able to work harder than my hardest. Even though I’m new, I want to be able to keep up with my team—doing everything I can do at the moment I can do it.”
More seasoned players may have had a clear view since before the season started of what it takes to be a good player and a good team. Junior Cecily Eivers, goalie on the girls soccer team, has been playing since she was five. Eivers revealed that she constantly has goals to meet in soccer, from simply applying herself more in practices and games to improving her reflexes and perfecting her ability to block goals. She also has expectations that extend to the entirety of her team, which has many new players this season.
“I want us to be able to win more games, learn from our mistakes, get better at the game in general, and build strong relationships with each other. We shouldn’t get too discouraged even if we lose by a lot. We need to find out what we’re doing wrong and find a way to fix that,” Eivers said.
Though these goals have a similar sentiment to the much-ignored New Year’s Resolutions, they are actually quite important to the players. In the middle of the winter sports season, players can look back on their goals to gauge their performance.
“They give me something to keep working up to and motivate me to become better,” Eivers said.
While goals are often made at milestone events, every day presents an opportunity to set goals for self-improvement. Why not start now?